International No Diet Day
Author: Breanna Mills R.D.
This year on May 6th, we celebrate International No Diet Day. The purpose of International No Diet Day is to celebrate our bodies and their inherent uniqueness, as well as raising awareness of the dangers of dieting and offer support with an alternative approach to dieting. International No Diet Day first began in the UK in 1992 and since then, many countries around the world have adopted this celebration of body acceptance. Although diet culture tries to tell us that by pursuing intentional weight loss our lives will be better, the opposite is actually true. Diet culture tries to sell us on the ideas that thinness equals health and that food has moral value. In reality, dieting is harmful to both our mental and physical health. In addition, diets are not effective. Research has shown that the majority of dieters who lose weight gain the weight back within five years and often their weight increases. Diet culture tries to tell us that we have failed, when the truth is that diets fail us. So how can we break free of a culture that is so rampant in society? The Health At Every Size or HAES™ movement offers a solution. HAES™ focuses on accepting and respecting the natural diversity and uniqueness of body shapes and sizes, eating in a flexible way that meets our needs while listening to our internal appetite, hunger, satiety and fullness cues, and moving your body in a way that brings you joy. Other ways to practice body respect could be using non-judgmental language around food and exercise, not participating in diet talk and complimenting those around you (and yourself!) on things other than appearance. We all have so much more to offer this world than how we look. So, this year on May 6th, let’s join together and celebrate our uniqueness and diversity and promote an alternative approach to dieting.